deaths of three people who were killed June 23 when a 34-ton mining
machine fell from a truck might have been prevented if the truck
driver's employer had done a background check before hiring him,
a federal report said.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration fined JZ Trucking $11,160
for violating federal motor carrier regulations. Investigators concluded
in a report obtained by the Appalachian News-Express of Pikeville,
KY, that the crash might not have occurred if JZ Trucking complied
with federal regulations that require drug screenings and background
checks for drivers.
people died when an auger fell from the back of a truck driven by
David Williams, 38.
was driving south on U.S. 23 in Pikeville. The auger struck two
vehicles in the northbound lanes.
has been indicted on three counts of murder. Tests reportedly showed
he had traces of several drugs in his system. A Pike County grand
jury did not return indictments against the trucking company or
its owner, The Associated Press reported.
de Bourbon, a Pikeville attorney representing the company, said
neither the findings nor the fines would be contested. De Bourbon
said JZ Trucking gave Williams a chance by hiring him, and that
it is impossible to know whether a more thorough background check
could have prevented the deaths.
Trucking was cited for not requesting information from Williams'
driver had numerous violations and crashes on his driving record,"
the inspectors said. They said if the company had checked Williams'
record, "he may never have been hired, and this crash would
not have occurred."
had been arrested on drunken driving charges twice and had several
traffic charges on his record before JZ Trucking hired him.
investigators also cited JZ Trucking for failing to maintain records
of inquiries into employee driving records, failing to require a
driver to make a duty record and failing to require a driver to
prepare a vehicle inspection report.